List of Greek Suffixes
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January 16, 2008 CLA 201H5 - 1
Suffixes are the third of the three major elements in word formation to be introduced.
The meanings of suffixes are both easier and harder to learn than those of prefixes and bases: easier because the commonest ones do not
have very distinct fixed meanings, but harder because you have to try various phraseologies to see which one fits the situation of this
particular word in this particular context.
Suffixes have a crucial importance, however, because they determine what part of speech a word is.
Review the definitions of the major parts of speech (on handout): nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs.
Noun-forming suffixes (introduced in Lessons 5-12) are the most complex group. Adjective-forming suffixes (Lessons 4 & 6) and verb-
forming suffixes (Lesson 12) are easier. Adverbial suffixes are the easiest of all.
Noun-forming suffixes can be broken down into (A) Simple and (B) Compound. Simple suffixes can be further broken down into (a) more
general and (b) more specialized.
I. ADJECTIVE-FORMING SUFFIXES (Lesson 4)
(A) Simple (Lesson 4)
1. -al = pertaining to, belonging to, having the character of, like
e.g. dia/GON/al =pertaining to an angle (measured) across
BI/o/LOG/ic/al =pertaining to the study of life
ana/TOM/ic/cal =pertaining to the process of cutting up
2. -(i)an = pertaining to, connected with, having the character of, like
e.g. amphi/BI/an = pertaining to life in both elements (i.e., water and air)
PROT/o/ZO/an =pertaining to first life
THE/o/LOG/ian = pertaining to the study of god
3. -(i)ous = pertaining to, having the character of, like
e.g. amphi/BI/ous = pertaining to life in both elements
syn/ONYM/ous = pertaining to having a name in common with
HOM/o/GENE/ous = pertaining to being of the same kind
4. -(t)ic, -ac (after "i") = pertaining to, like
e.g. epi/DEM/ic =pertaining to coming (suddenly) upon a people
GASTR/ic =pertaining to the stomach
CARDIac =pertaining to the heart
5. -oid, -ode = like, having the shape of
e.g. SPHER/oid =having the shape of a sphere
ADEN/oid =like a gland
NEMAT/ode =like a thread
PHYLL/ode =like a leaf
(B) Compound (Lesson 6)
1. -GEN-ous, -GEN-ic = producing, produced
e.g. PHOT/o/GEN/ic = producing (good) photographs
CYT/o/GEN/ic = pertaining to the production of cells
2. -OEC-ious = having a house or dwelling
e.g. MON/OEC/ious = having only one house (having one house for male and female sex organs)
3. -PHIL-ous, -PHIL-ic = loving, thriving in, pollinated by the agency of
e.g. NECR/o/PHIL/ic = pertaining to loving the dead
ANEM/o/PHIL/ous = pollinated by the wind
II. VERB-FORMING SUFFIXES (Lesson 12)
1. -ize = to make, to treat, to do something with
e.g. CARBON/ize =to make into charcoal
syn/CHRON/ize =to make to have the same time as
ant/AGON/ize =to make to struggle against
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